Deeply in You (The Wicked Dukes)
Aphrodisia / June 24, 2014 / $15.00 print / $12.99 digital
Anxious to save her brother from debtor’s prison, Helena Winsome agrees to find proof that the Duke of Greybrooke is a traitor. Well aware of his wicked ways, she takes on the guise of a demure governess. But his smoldering sensuality overwhelms her—as does his vow to make her his lover, a scandalous promise that leaves her weak with desire…
Darkly handsome and powerfully seductive, the Duke of Greybrooke is a man of deep passion. When the lovely Miss Helena Winsome turns down an offer to become his mistress, Grey takes on the challenge. He’ll expose Helena to the erotic thrill of carnal pleasure and tease her senses until all she can do is beg for more…
Deeply in You is the first in Sharon Page's new Wicked Dukes series, but more than that, it's her return to straight erotic historicals. This is welcome news fans of her brilliant Sin trilogy. And this first book packs a punch with its governess heroine, rakish duke, and enough espionage and back-stabbing to keep us guessing the whole way through.
Opening with a bang, the hero Duke of Greybrooke is introduced in all his roguish glory with a shout from his former mistress as she attempts to empty a chamber pot over his head in the street. And Helena, who is governess to Grey's nieces and nephews, is no typical governess. Writing an anonymous, scandalous column as Lady X, Helena is “Gossip Girl” of the 1800s. She's also moonlighting as a spy, blackmailed into rescuing her brother from his gambling debt and her younger sisters from ruin. And her target is Grey.
It's a tangled web, but despite the fact that Helena is a bit more dastardly than the everyday governess, it doesn't take away from her innocence. One of Page's strengths in her historicals is the ride she takes the heroine on from inexperienced to worldly—with the help of a sexy hero who is both wicked and wholly devoted to her pleasure. Per her usual style, there's plenty of seduction and debauchery, voyeurism, group scenes, and kinky scenarios. And there's another element in play: BDSM.
“I don’t think I was wrong at all, Miss Winsome. I am right about what you want. That’s why your cheeks are so pink. On the surface, you are very proper and good. But I suspect, deep in your soul, you would like to be bad.”
“I would not.” She pulled away from his hand and planted her fists on her hips. “I know what scoundrels do to foolish women who fall for their repugnant propositions. You would ruin me in a heartbeat and it wouldn’t matter to you in the least.”
His gaze bored in her. His green eyes seemed to glow. “If I were to make you my mistress, I would give you a king’s ransom in return. A house, gowns, carriages, jewels. All you would have to do is be my submissive. I would tie you up and show you unbelievable pleasure—orgasms that would make you melt and beg—and reward you with a settlement that would keep you in luxury for the rest of your life.” He paused. Repeated, “If I were to make you my mistress.”
“I cannot listen to this. I must go, Your Grace. I must take the children home.”
“Of course.” His deep baritone rumbled over her. “But tonight, while you are asleep in your small room, on a bed that I assume is not very comfortable, I want you to imagine what it would be like to be bound to a bed with a soft, thick mattress and silk sheets. Then imagine a gentleman's mouth tasting you, everywhere –”
The BDSM sets this historical apart, and the scenes of exploration are some of the best parts of the book, but it isn't long before Grey is dealing with secrets from his own past, putting out fires caused by those who would see him fall, and the things that haunt both Grey and Helena collide. In a smart move, though, Page keeps it all swiftly moving forward and raises the stakes when truths begin coming to light, and Grey realizes Helena is more than governess-turned-mistress.
Miss Winsome was his. He shouldn’t trust her as far as he could throw her. But he desired her. Wanted her.
“What are you going to do to me?” she asked.
“You’re my mistress. You agreed to obey.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Not without question. I want to know what you intend to do.”
“I want to make love with you,” he said.
“What? But you know I looked through your desk. You said you didn’t trust me.”
He had to beat down this desire for her—this desire for more than sex. After the waltz, he’d wanted to dance with her again. He’d had to force himself to leave her to meet Caro. He had to expunge any fragment of emotion for this woman.
“I never trust the women I fuck,” he said.
What happens when it turns out you're sleeping with a stranger, but what's there feels real? Grey and Helena can work together, or they can be divided. This is where the emotional component allows them to become something more and really takes the story to another level. So it's not just sex here, not just suspense, above all it's love overcoming the odds. Best of all, there are more wicked dukes to come.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Deeply in You by Sharon Page, available June 24, 2014:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.